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Traci Parker’s book, Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights from the 1930s to the 1980s, is an engaging study of the intersections of race, class, gender, labour, and activism in an arguably quintessential 20th-century American space: the department store.
Research on immigration to Britain at the turn of the 20th century largely conforms to historiographical conventions which privilege the nation state as a framework for investigation and which adhere to narrative chronologies relevant to nations. These conventions, Ewence contends, eclipse much from view which does not easily fit into such established categories.
In 1979 Pete Wrong of the art collective and Punk band Crass was being interviewed by New Society about his graffiti operation on the London Underground: ‘We don’t just rip the posters down or spray them. We use stencils, neatly, to qualify them.
The planning of cities from the 1940s to the 1960s is one of the major strands of British (and indeed, international) post-war social history.
A recent addition to the Early American Places series, Adam Costanzo’s George Washington’s Washington: Visions for the National Capital in the Early American Republic provides an overview of the development of and visions for Washington, DC, from 1790 to the late 1830s and, thus, spans the administrations of the first seven American presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jef
‘Risen from the ruins and facing the future’ affirmed Johannes Becher’s emphatic opening strophe to the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), composed in that state’s birthyear of 1949. It was a stirring message, and one that amply reflected the political imperative that had come to suffuse the material task of reconstruction after six years of devastating war.
Christian Liddy argues that the notion of a ‘citizen’ was not the preserve of abstract medieval thinking, based on classical modes, but a living concept that had pervaded urban life since the 13th century. It was evident in residents’ writings, speech, and actions. This also meant that citizenship was mutable and contestable in its ideas and practices.
For those interested in learning more about, and reflecting upon, the iconic Russian revolutions of 1917 during this centenary year, there has been no shortage of recent publications.
Eli Rubin has written a wonderful book that does not just tell a fascinating story about an important but much neglected subject, but also manages to link this story to much broader historiographical, and indeed ontological, questions about the intersections between space, on one hand, and power, time and lived experience on the other.
'Space and place are central to the strategies and meaning of protest’ (p. xi) reads the opening sentence of Katrina Navickas's latest study, Protest and the Politics of Space and Place 1789–1848.